They Both Die at the End Hardcover – 5 September 2017
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★”Extraordinary and unforgettable.” (Booklist (starred review))
★”It’s another standout from Silvera. Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
★”Over the course of an eventful day, these thoughtful young men speak honestly and movingly about their fate, their anger at its unfairness, and what it means to be alive, until their budding friendship organically turns into something more.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
★ “Silvera continues to masterfully integrate diversity, disability, and young queer voices into an appealing story with a lot of heart. A must-have for YA shelves.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“Adam Silvera uses his ample skill to force readers to examine how they live life now and how they want to live it. They Both Die at the End is a prime example of his skill at asking the most relevant questions of all of us.” (Teen Vogue)
“They Both Die at the End is beautiful and charged with emotion, and Silvera’s best work to date.” (Jordan April, The River’s End Bookstore, for the Autumn 2017 Teen Indie Next List)
“Silvera not only poignantly captures the raw emotion of facing your own morality, but creates such relatable and authentic characters you want to follow on their journey. His gorgeous writing and wonderful storytelling will wreck you in the very best possible way.” (Buzzfeed)
“Themes of friendship, love, loss, and fate combine in this novel that should be read with a box of tissues close at hand.” (Brightly)
From the Back Cover
We here at Last Friend Inc. are collectively sorry for this loss of you. Our deepest sympathies extend to those who love you and those who will never meet you. We hope you find a new friend of value to spend your final hours with today.
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.
Uplifting and devastating, charming and haunting, They Both Die at the End is a tour de force from acclaimed author Adam Silvera, whose debut novel the New York Times called “profound.” It’s a story that reminds us there’s no life without death, no love without loss—and that it’s possible to change your whole world in a day.
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- Hardcover : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062457799
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062457790
- Item Weight : 454 g
- Product Dimensions : 13.97 x 3.07 x 20.96 cm
- Publisher : Quill Tree Books (5 September 2017)
- Reading level : 14 - 17 years
- Language: : English
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“But no matter what choices we make - solo or together - our finish line remains the same … No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end.”
It sounded like an extremely powerful read and yet They Both Die At The End had far less of an emotional impact on me unlike Silvera's debut novel More Happy Than Not. While that book had me gripped with emotion, huge chunks of this book were very slow.
Even though, this was such a great concept and idea, I felt that if more work was put into it, it could've been way better. I loved all the characters who were carefully weaved and how they were dealing with their own deaths and lives yet I think that there could've been so much more. We are already spoiled by the blurb about the start of the book and the title further spoils the ending for us. Very little actually happens that we don't know before starting the book.
The main characters, Rufus and Mateo are polar opposites and yet similar. This was one aspect of the book I really liked. As always Adam's characters actually sound like teens which is a knack many authors in YA genre lack (Rufus in me: that rhymes). Rufus was a character who excelled in maintaining the correct balance between depth and comedy. He was definitely my personal favorite. Mateo is a small precious little bean who deserves to be wrapped in bubble wrap and preserved. But well, as you have been spoiled from the title he dies (Rufus's dark humor is affecting me).
The writing style of the book also reminded me of one of my favorites from 2017: Sun Is Also A Star. This was the inclusion of random chapters from other characters' perspectives. In between Mateo's and Rufus's story, we get a brief glimpse into the lives of many other characters. There's something about this that I love - the suggestion that no character is throwaway, that even though some characters are not central to the story being told, they all have their own lives and stories going on. It also gave us a lot of insight into how Death-Cast has affected others.
World-building was my one real issue. I would have liked more explanation or building around Death-Cast and how it works. The concept was incredibly interesting and unique, and I would have loved to see it expanded on. However, this aside I did like the culture and ideas around the idea of End-Days, and I felt it was incredibly realistic of what it would be like if this was real. The way that society is dealing with the burden gave the story another layer of depth, and I really liked the way that all the individual storylines within the book all intertwined throughout the world.
To reiterate, I'd say that this book was definitely a one time read and it's worth giving it a chance if you like LGBT+ books or want to start reading it. And Adam Silvera, of course, is a genius and a GREAT writer. His writing is raw and rich and it'll grab you by the heartstrings from page one, and then won't let go- not even when you close the book.
You think you know what’s going to happen but you don’t - all except for the end that is. And it’s heartbreaking, leaving you in a pile of tears while you question your own existence - what are you doing to really live your life? What would you do if you received a warning 24 hours prior to your death?
What I loved about this book were the characters - how so very memorable each character is, even characters whom you didn’t give a second glance to and the overall world building in itself.
Our two main characters, Rufus and Mateo are darlings, to say the least - the kind you want to protect with your lives (see what I did there?) but you can’t because [spoiler/notspoiler] they both die at the end.
READ THE BOOK INSTEAD
I was bawling my eyes out at middle of the night... it is what it says they both die but that's not what the book is about really it showed what they did while they were still alive.
I feel like people give up easily on 'living their lives' cause everything is going to end someday, and we take it for granted that we are still very much alive.
Adam Silvera did a good job showing how different people perceived life, for instance Rufus' parents and sister: they gave up on even trying to get out of car, maybe cause they knew it would all be pointless and Rufus was the only hope.
Deirdre Clayton(the virtual adventure lady who sat near the entrance): she didn't die cause she found hope from those two boys who were still living.
Delilah: She didn't accept death even though it was right in front of her, that's what kept her moving and not giving up when she has 2 otherwise fatal accidents. (That got me thinking she did not accept victor too cause she knew that will be the end of her career hence her life and maybe she died when she met victor cause he is her death)
The gang with no name: their life will be dead even when they are not physically dead. If they change to be a better people their life wouldn't be so dead.
And ofcourse Mateo and Rufus: Rufus found hope in the last friend app and Mateo found hope from Rufus. If they didn't meet each other they would have probably died in the same place: Mateo in his house without ever doing anything and Rufus while crossing the road looking down at his phone waiting for Aimee.
All this got me thinking why Death-Cast did not tell the exact time of death when they could say the end day (ready?): cause they simply dont know. Death is inevitable but it all depends on the person's will to live. If we convert that one day into our lifespan; we all are part of the Death-cast cause we know we all are gonna die (we get the call the moment we are born) and few of us dont realize that it's pointless worrying about death itself cause it will come for sure. What we need to think about is that what are we going to do with the live we have. Cause we can do anything in one day ANYTHING. Yesterday I spent my day reading this book which I'm very grateful of, today I could be doing something I love, heck could, would, should've are too big words to use in this short life.
Now I feel good (sorry this review was more like a life reflection for me)
My favorite line “Take me home, Mateo”
PS: The book is not about death. Read it now!
Top reviews from other countries
Mateo lives a quiet life, too afraid of stepping out of his comfort zone to have done much living when he gets the call saying he's going to die. With his father in a coma and his best friend being a single mum to his goddaughter, Mateo feels alone and turns to Last Friend in the hope of finding someone to help him live his life in twenty-four hours.
Rufus on the other hand lives the opposite of a quiet life, we meet him in the middle of beating up his ex girlfriend's current boyfriend and then he gets the call. It isn't the way Rufus saw things going, he'd already lost his parents and older sister to the Death-Cast, now it was his turn. As events unfold Rufus finds himself on the run from the police and separated from his friends, so Rufus also finds himself on Last Friend.
"No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end."
I was really intrigued by the idea of Death-Cast, is life better when you know that you'll get a call on your End Day? Does it eliminate fear and encourage you to make the most of life? For Mateo it didn't, he spent his days indoors playing video games and following the last moments of others who got the call. Rufus says that it doesn't matter and that he and Mateo just need to accept what is happening and live.
"...I think you should post your life in colour."
Rufus and Mateo share their final hours together through Rufus' Instagram (so Gen Z, so relatable), sharing new experiences, getting to know each other and living as full a life as you possibly can in a day. For such an upsetting book there was some really touching moments that I don't want to ruin for any potential readers, but Mateo and his lego house made me very warm and fuzzy.
"Twelve hours ago I received the phone call telling me I'm going to die today, and I'm more alive now than I was then."
Throughout the book there are stories from other characters, one of those characters is Deidre Clayton, who goes through a tough time dealing with the whole premise of the Death-Cast and has suicidal thoughts because of it. Honestly one of my first thoughts about the subject when I read about it was how could anyone deal with the knowledge that one day their phone will ring and there's nothing you can do to change things? In life you like to think that death can be avoided, if you get in an accident that you could be helped, you can get treatment for illness and get better. The call is a unavoidable death sentence, and that's scary.
"You can't go around telling people you wanna be a tree and expect them to take you seriously."
Something I really liked about the book is the different conversations and opinions about the afterlife. For someone who is afraid of death, yes that's me -and I'm reading a book about so much death, it was really comforting for me to think about what could happen after death, some things I've never thought about. Death is so uncertain and there's no way to ever know what really happens, so we can choose to believe whatever we want if it helps us to navigate the world. It does help, or at least it does for me.
"I will make it so easy for you to find me. Neon signs. Marching bands."
Mateo and Rufus really were the most perfect characters to lead me through this story. Of course it's a curse that they didn't meet sooner but the time they did have together was made so special by their willingness to go all out and just be themselves. The two of them lived out what would have been months of a new friendship, in a single day, and it was beautiful.
I could go on and on about this book, there's characters I haven't covered who are amazing but I want to leave something for anyone reading this who is going to pick up the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes YA/LGBTQ+ reads, obviously there is some sensitive topics in this book so please read at your own discretion and do so in the comfort of your own home with a partner or pet or stuffed animal nearby for all the cuddles -you're going to need a lot.
I began this book at 7pm, and finished it by 10pm. I sobbed from approximately 50 pages in until the end and now my partner is worried about me. I immediately bought Silvera's other book, and have been waiting for a few free hours stretch as I'm sure I will need to read it in one sitting. I recommend this book wholeheartedly to anyone who needs a good cry, though not to anyone who is dealing with grief at the death of a loved one. The language isn't hard to parse, but this book is not easy to read.
All the characters seem fleshed out and real, both Mateo and Rufus have such unique voices that you can tell who is narrating without even looking at the chapter header.
The use of (seemingly) random side characters dotted throughout telling their own story is something I didn't know I needed until reading The Sun Is Also A Star (and to an extent The Raven Cycle) This book also uses that technique, maybe even in a slightly better way (in terms of paths crossing and cause and effect outcomes)
The friend dynamics are great, and it's interesting to see the different ways people deal with something as complicated as knowing you're going to die, and what to do with that information.
I also love the fact that Adam knows how to write a diverse cast of characters without seeming pandering, forced or stereotypical. Race, religion, sexuality, teen parents, foster care, broken families, loving families - it's all written in a really organic way
A whole industry has built up around it. On their last day people have cash to throw about, and want to experience those things they've always meant to do and not done.
But this fascinating idea is really in the background of this wonderful story. It's a story about characters, a meeting of two boys who can bring our the best in each other. And we are drawn into this relationship that we know, and they know, was only ever a product of it being their last day.
This is probably the most bittersweet idea anyone has ever had.
It's really haunted me and I'm so glad I read it.